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Involving Homeless Persons in the Leadership of a Health Care Organization
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Consumer advisory boards (CABs) are a way of involving patients in their health care. To engage the homeless in the administration of a health care organization for the homeless, a service agency formed such a board comprising homeless and formerly homeless individuals. The purpose was to integrate experiences of homelessness into programmatic design and research efforts of the organization, and to promote participatory research among the homeless. A content analysis and member checking revealed four distinct themes relating to committee goals, identity definition, power, and issues and needs of the homeless. Findings indicate that participatory research provided a useful structure in which the CAB could improve self-sufficiency and self-efficacy, and contribute to the direction of the health care agency. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services